Aquilini wants NBA's Hornets in Vancouver: report

Canucks Sports and Entertainment chairman Francesco Aquilini reportedly is looking into the possibility of buying the New Orleans Hornets and bringing NBA basketball back to Vancouver.

Canucks Sports and Entertainment chairman Francesco Aquilini is looking to bring the NBA back to Vancouver, according to a report in The Globe and Mail.

Citing anonymous sources, the Globe says Aquilini, whose family owns the NHL's Canucks but was never involved with basketball's Vancouver Grizzlies, is inspecting the New Orleans Hornets.

The Hornets are being sold by the NBA and could be relocated in the next few years.

During an interview this week, commissioner David Stern said Vancouver is one of several markets interested in a relocated NBA franchise, and went out of his way to praise the strong business performance of the Canucks.

"We've had visits from, believe it or not, Vancouver, where the Canucks are absolutely doing a spectacular job," Stern told ESPN.

Aquilini did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

The NBA's Grizzlies left Vancouver for Memphis in 2001 after just six seasons, a brief existence that Stern has called his largest regret in 27 years as commissioner.